How to choose the right drill bit material?


Not all bits are the same. Each project has different needs. That’s why there are so many shapes and designs of drill bits. Different project requires particular shaped drill bit. That’s why it is mandatory to know the difference and why they are suitable for specific surface or material. If you choose a wrong drill bit, it may lead to structural flaws or broken bits.

Selecting a bit made of right material would help to ensure the hole has a smooth edge. The success of a project mostly depends on the selection of tools. You have to make sure the bit you use should be suitable for the material you are making the hole in. The best way to know what drill bit is perfect for the project is to understand of all available types and to make a decision based on the understanding.

When buying a drill bit, consider where and how the bit would be used. Decide which material is best for this task, and then choose a type, tip, and a size. It’s often a smart choice to buy multiple sizes in various tips to complete the project. You can save money by buying awhile set of drill bits in various sizes. Remember, it is crucial to select bit materials and styles that are perfect for the project, because failure in doing so may cause damage to the drill, the drill bit, or the project at hand. That’s why the selection should be based on several factors like material, coating, and shapes. If you know what kind of material, shape or layer are for which type of drilling, it won’t be difficult to choose one.

Use based on Materials:

Several types of metal are used to make drill bits. Each material is suitable for different surfaces. Before choosing it’s important to know the strengths and flaws of that material.

Low Carbon Steel – (for softwoods): For drilling a hole in the comparatively softer surface like woods, Low carbon steel is very useful. But they cannot drill through metals or hardwoods because these drill bits are too soft for them. Despite its flaws, they are very economical.

High Carbon Steel – (for hardwood and metal):They can tolerate very high temperature, more than low carbon steel. That’s why they do not require frequent sharpening. High Carbon Steel is suitable for drilling holes in hardwood or thin metal surfaces. They are as much economical as low carbon steel.

Carbide – (for Hardwood and Thin Steel): Carbide tips are specialized to operate on hardwood and thin steel. These tips can dissipate heat very rapidly that’s why they can hold the edge longer. But they need to be handled very carefully because they are very brittle.

Cobalt – (for Thick Metal): They are very hard and they can bore into hard materials like stainless steel or any thicker metal. Due to less susceptibility to heat damage, they are extremely brittle & prone to accidental damage.

Diamond Drill Bits – (for hard yet fragile and delicate substance): PCD or commonly known as Poly crystalline diamond bits are the hardest in the market. They can grind through ceramic tile, granite, fiberglass, marble, glass, stone and heavy metals. They have different shapes and functions. Sometimes they are useful to enlarge the per made hole in any surface.

Use based on Coating:

Drill bit coatings make the drill more lubricated, harder, sharper, or even more heat resistant than the usual metal bits. Coating significantly improves the cutting quality, lifespan, and durability of drill bits.

Black Oxide – (for Steel & Iron): Black oxide provides corrosion protection. It increases tempering, relieves stress, reduces chip welding and galling, aids in retaining lubricants and they are very economical. Black Oxide coated bits can cut through Iron, Steel, etc.

Bronze Oxide – (for Cobalt Steel): Bronze oxide coated drill bit is effective to drill through cobalt steel. This coating also increases tempering & helps to reduce stress. The bronze oxide coating is often used with black oxide.

Titanium Nitride (TiN) – (for Magnesium, Aluminum, Steel, Iron): It is comparatively expensive but very effective. Besides increasing hardness, it also provides production increasing thermal barrier and longer lifetime. This coating is used to drill through Iron, Steel, Aluminum, Magnesium, etc. TiN also gives you all other facilities that black and bronze oxide can provide.

Zirconium Nitride – (for Metal): They are popular for decreased friction, strengthening brittle drill & heat resistance. It is very useful for drill bits that are used for precision drilling. It is very effective for reducing the risk of accidental damages on the brittle bit types which is caused by rough handling.

Special Bits for Special Use

Tungsten Carbide – for small space drilling and drilling through abrasive materials.

Diamond Core – for stone cutting and masonry.

Masonry Bit – for cutting through brick, concrete, and mortar.

PCB drill Bit – for boring holes in the electronic computer boards of most electronic objects and fiberglass boards.

Flexible Shaft Bit – for creating uniquely shaped holes in construction work.

We often use a single drill bit on different surfaces. But it is not appropriate for your drill machine and bit or the project. Before using a drill bit make sure if it can go through the surface with that speed and pressure. That’s why it is very crucial to pick the right one. If you have gone through the whole article, you already know which drill is appropriate for which material. If you still have any question regarding drill bits, feel free to leave a comment.

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